Cappella del Pontificio Collegio Slovacco dei Santi Cirillo e Metodio is a later 20th century college chapel at Via Maria Domenica Brun Barbantini 33 in the La Storta zone.

The chapel is in the city, but part of the territory of the diocese of Porto Santa Rufina.

The college is dedicated to SS Cyril and Methodius, apostles to the Slavs.

History Edit

The college began as a simple house of studies for Slovak priests, the Istituto Slovacco dei Santi Cirillo e Metodio. This was founded in 1961 with the assistance of Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, and was intended for the clergy of the Slovakian diaspora especially in the United States. At the time, Slovakia was part of Czechoslovakia which was under the control of a hard-line Stalinist government which was hostile to public manifestations of religion.

The permanent home of the Istituto was built in 1971, Alberto Tonelli being the architect.

Slovakia became independent in 1992, and the status of the Istituto became outdated since the new state had a fully functioning Catholic bishops' conference. So, in 1997 the institution was raised to the status of a Pontifical College or full seminary under the authority of the Slovak Bishops' Conference. This it remains.

Exterior Edit

The complex is not very large, consisting of two three-storey blocks. These are aligned almost in a line along their major axes but not quite, since one is displaced slightly laterally with respect to the other. There is a narrow three-storey corridor block connecting the two, and adjacent to this is a flat-roofed one-storey entrance lobby block. The fabric is in pink brick with a reinforced concrete frame, having pitched and pink-tiled roofs on the main blocks.

The chapel is a separate edifice, with its axis perpendicular to the major axis of the college and its own entrance off the main college entrance lobby. It is not a large building. A simple doorway in the lower end of the left hand side wall seems to have been intended as an external entrance, but is not in use -it is blocked by a confessional inside.

It amounts to a pink brick box, with four narrow vertical rectangular windows in each side wall of the nave. These have white sills, and reach the roof eaves which have white bargeboards. The frontage peeps over the flat-roofed lobby, and has a long rectangular window below the eaves.

The sanctuary has a square flat-roofed sacristy block appended to its right hand side.

The left hand side of the sanctuary, facing the entrance driveway, has an odd structure which looks like a campanile but is not. It is two white concrete piers, one behind the other and the first one narrower and taller with a narrow gap between them. The thicker far pier has a single step in its far side. This pier is enclosed at its top by a cage of vertical metal rods, and a tall metal rod cross finial protrudes from this.

The sacristy and finial tower conceal very shallow external side chapels.

The sacristy wall has a very shallow rectangular apse, separated from the main side wall by window strips. Narrow window strips also occupy the far ends of the side walls.

This apse has its own roof, which has a single backward sloping pitch and is in a grey composition. It also covers the central part of the sanctuary, and is shaped like a trapezoid with the smallest side at front. Below its side eaves are two thin triangular window strips, and below its front edge a thin horizontal one.

The main roof is in a red composition. It has three shallow pitches, with ridge-lines running in a V from the front corners of the chapel to the ends of the front edge of the sanctuary roof.

Interior Edit

Nave Edit

The interior is simply decorated, in white. The eight nave side windows have stained glass in a traditional style, featuring saints. The floor is in coloured marble slabs, the stone being pink, grey and white.

The two side chapels are dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows and the Sacred Heart. Their mosaics are in a figurative style, derivatively Byzantine, on a silvery-gold background which covers the entire wall surface

Sanctuary Edit

The sanctuary has a single-step platform in red marble.

The far wall is entirely covered in a mosaic in the same style as the side chapels. The central depiction is of the college patrons, SS Cyril and Methodius. They are accompanied by twelve disciples in two ranks of six, identically depicted except for the one on the far left who is St Gorazd the successor of St Methodius as bishop of Great Moravia.

There are four scenes from the joint careers of the two saints, depicted in golden monochrome. They are: Arrival of SS Cyril and Methodius at Rome with the Relics of St Clement; Papal Approval of the Slavonic Liturgical Texts; Consecration of SS Cyril and Methodius as Bishops to the Slavs; St Methodius Receiving the Homage of the Slavic Princes.

The composition also includes a pair of symbolic devices sharing the motto Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia ("Where Peter is, there is the church"). One has the Keys of Peter, the other a church on a mountain.

External links Edit

College website

Info.roma web-page

"Jozef Medový" blog page

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